January 20, 2013 11:16 pm

SIHH preview: Time to raise curtain on sophisticated show

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1 A Lange & Söhne

1815 Up/Down

Inspired by a pocket watch and a patent filed by Otto Lange, the 1815 Up/Down displays the restrained and sober elegance of this German house that takes fastidiousness and perfection to new levels.

The addition of a fourth hand to indicate the level of power reserve gives the watch its name. The slim, hand-wound calibre L051.2 has plates and bridges made of German silver and is decorated in the house style of chamfered and polished edges, Glashütte ribbing and an elaborately engraved balance cock.

Price: £18,700

. . .

2 Audemars Piguet

Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication

The tough Royal Oak reveals a sophisticated heart as a fiendishly complicated mechanism nestles within the butch titanium and ceramic octagonal case. The transparent sapphire dial reveals the 648 components that make up the minute repeater, split second chronograph and perpetual calendar functions. This is the first time the Royal Oak has been graced with a grand complication movement that has taken one master watchmaker 700 hours of work. Only three will be made.

Price: £534,560

. . .

3 Baume & Mercier

Clifton 1830

The Clifton takes the brand back to the sophistication of its early men’s watches with this red gold watch powered by a specially adapted hand-wound La Joux-Perret calibre. The movement has a 90-hour power reserve and is enhanced with circular graining and Côtes de Genève stripes. The retro-looking dial has tapered hands and stylised numerals and curves to echo the shape of the sapphire crystal.

Price: £9,490

. . .

4 Cartier

Calibre de Cartier Chronograph Watch 1904-CH

This represents an important step forward for Cartier as the 1904-CH is the brand’s first in-house manufactured self-winding chronograph movement.

The Calibre de Cartier chronograph forms a collection of eight new models staking a claim for the brand in the field of the highly popular complication. The new column-wheel mechanism ensures the smooth functioning of the components and ceramic ball bearings in the rotor increase durability.

Price: from £7,200

. . .

5 Greubel Forsey

Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain

The Anglo-French duo presents a version of its 2012 model housed in a 5N red gold case with a titanium movement. Combining mechanics with avant garde aesthetics, the bridge is angled at 25 degrees to improve performance. The tourbillon bridge is made of transparent synthetic sapphire that, set against the royal blue of the dial, main plate and bridges, appears to float in an inky sky. This is one for connoisseurs and only 33 examples of this watch will be made.

Price: SFr418,000 (without taxes)

. . .


Ingenieur Chronograph Racer

This year, the Ingenieur takes pole position at IWC. Originally designed in the 1950s, it has been remodelled to enshrine the new partnership between the watchmaker and the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. Materials favoured by Formula One engineers such as carbon fibre, ceramic and titanium are worked into a range of new watches, to conjure up the spirit of the racetrack, that range from tourbillons and perpetual calendars to the Racer chronograph with a tachymeter scale on the bezel.

Price: from £9,250

. . .

7 Jaeger-LeCoultre

Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétuel Jubilee

Perpetual inventiveness, obstinacy and precision is how this manufacturer describes its horological quest. The house celebrates its founder in its jubilee year with the “Hommage à Antoine LeCoultre”. This grande complication platinum watch sits at the pinnacle of the year’s offerings with its flying tourbillon performing centre stage in the middle of the dial. A new automatic movement, the Calibre 985, adds to the 1,242 calibres made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Price: approx £116,000

. . .

8 Montblanc

Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph Rising Hours

Montblanc marks its sixth year at the SIHH with a new version of the Nicholas Rieussec chronograph. Named for the father of the chronograph who in 1821 created an inking mechanism to time horse races, this new model does away with the hour hand and replaces it with a disc.

The hour numbers are cut out and day or night is indicated by the white or blue background.

Price: €26,900

. . .

9 Panerai

Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 days PAM 00530

This house with Italian roots tweaks and re-tweaks its two well-loved core models: the Luminor and the Radiomir. This strategy has led to a loyal following of “Paneristi” and an instantly recognisable style. This year, the split-second Luminor chronograph is treated to a titanium case and a sophisticated linear eight-day power display on the dial.

Price: £17,600

. . .

10 Parmigiani Fleurier

Bugatti Vitesse

The new Vitesse is inspired by the design of the latest futuristic Bugatti Veyron car, unveiled this year. Like previous models, the mechanism is exposed across the length of the cylindrical case and the dial is tilted to be viewed while at the wheel. The dial is made from Texalium, a fibreglass web with aluminium, and offered in either white or orange.

Price: £250,000

. . .

11 Piaget

Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater

This model is billed as “the world’s thinnest mechanical self-winding minute repeater movement (4.8mm) and watch (9.4mm)”. The brand new Calibre 1290P, consisting of 407 components, incorporates a chiming mechanism. All is revealed through the sapphire glass dial and the movement is decorated to reflect the iconic Emperador “cushion” shape case.

Price: from £191,000

. . .

12 Ralph Lauren

RL67 Tourbillon

King of lifestyle, Ralph Lauren’s brand is now in its fifth year of making watches. This year sees the brand enter the arena of fine watch making with a tourbillon for men. The automatic movement has a micro-rotor and a power reserve of 38 hours. The look is rugged and the case has a macho gunmetal finish as does the tourbillon bridge.

Price: $52,500

. . .

13 Richard Mille

RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt Limited Edition

There will be only 15 models made of this watch with a G-Force gauge and a tourbillon on the dial.

The G-Force gauge measures the number of Gs accumulated during rapid deceleration so is presumably for those who drive very fast or slam on the brakes with gusto. The watch is ultra-tough yet lightweight thanks to the titanium case, skeletonised baseplate of carbon nanofibre and titanium bridges.


. . .

14 Roger Dubuis

Excalibur 42 Chronograph

This blue-faced chronograph aims to stand out from the crowd with its elegant and highly-stylised looks. As part of the Richemont Group since 2008, the panache of the brand is still evident as are its manufacturing credentials as seen in the new RD681 automatic chronograph movement.

It has a COSC certificate of precision and is stamped with the exclusive Hallmark of Geneva.


. . .

15 Vacheron Constantin

Métiers d’Art Florilège

As much works of art as timekeepers, the dials of the Florilège trio of watches are decorated by enamellist Anita Porchet. The hand-wound Calibre 4400 sits below these exquisite dials and just 20 examples will be made of this version set with round-cut diamonds.

Price: £90,700

. . .

16 Van Cleef & Arpels

Papillon Bleu Nuit

Since the 1920s, butterflies have fluttered through Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery designs and today they grace the dials of a collection of four watches limited to 22 pieces each.

In this version a moth with diaphanous wings created out of translucent plique-à-jour enamel hovers over a blue mother-of-pearl dial lit by a silvery moon made of paillonné enamel and twinkling with diamond dew drops.

Price: £75,900

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